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Technology is our friend…it really, really is. In our “new normal” of social distancing, we are depending more and more each day on technology to go about our lives. Many employees are working from home, using their computers to dial in to work, share screens, and participate in remote meetings.

Students of all ages are continuing their education through online courses and elearning technology. As much as possible, those who can work and study in remote environments are conducting their business virtually.

Yet, human beings are by nature social creatures. We have been encouraged from the beginning of time to be in contact with one another. It’s essential to the continuance of the human race, for goodness sake! In cultural terms, it simply doesn’t feel right to rebuff a hug, refuse a handshake, or stand more than an arm’s length apart.

As such, people are finding creative ways to stay in touch without actually touching. Some of their ideas have nothing to do with electronics or an Internet connection. In Italy, for example, residents are standing on their balconies, singing to one another from across the streets and alleyways.

Here in Naperville and other cities in the U.S., innovative parents organized a shamrock hunt on St. Patrick’s Day, asking neighbors to post images of the Irish icon in their windows so that homebound school children and others could see how many they could spot.

Some have even resurrected the old pen and paper to send cards and letters via “snail mail” – a special treat in an age when text and email pervade. Particularly now, a hand-written note in the mailbox can make someone’s day.

By and large, however, it’s technology that is facilitating the vital human connections we crave. Fortunately, most of us have been entrenched in the culture of text, email, Skype, video phone calls and social media for the past decade or more – even many seniors are up to speed in this regard.

In these recent and very strange days of people at a distance, technology is reaching even further to bring us together. Even “outings” can happen online. Let’s look at just a few of the virtual experiences popping up with each passing day:

At Monarch Landing, residents have been embracing technology since before it became a virtual necessity in life. Our resident portal, Touchtown, is a user-friendly communication tool that one of our seniors herself helped us to integrate and use. Touchtown allows residents to remain connected to large amounts of information at the touch of their fingertips on all their devices, including resident and staff directories, activities and programs, menus, birthdays, our extensive library database, and more.

Now more than ever, it’s good to be connected.